Friday, October 06, 2006

Marijuana may stave off Alzheimer's - U.S. study


By Andy Sullivan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Good news for ageing hippies: smoking pot may
stave off Alzheimer's disease.

New research shows that the active ingredient in marijuana may
prevent the progression of the disease by preserving levels of an
important neurotransmitter that allows the brain to function.

Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in California found
that marijuana's active ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or
THC, can prevent the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from breaking
down more effectively than commercially marketed drugs.

THC is also more effective at blocking clumps of protein that can
inhibit memory and cognition in Alzheimer's patients, the researchers
reported in the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics.

The researchers said their discovery could lead to more effective
drug treatment for Alzheimer's, the leading cause of dementia among
the elderly.

Those afflicted with Alzheimer's suffer from memory loss, impaired
decision-making, and diminished language and movement skills. The
ultimate cause of the disease is unknown, though it is believed to be

Marijuana is used to relieve glaucoma and can help reduce side
effects from cancer and AIDS treatment.

Possessing marijuana for recreational use is illegal in many parts of
the world, including the United States, though some states allow
possession for medical purposes.

And all this time anti-pot propagnadists have claimed that smoking pot results in short-term memory loss and that somehow translates into a good reason to lock in a cage someone who has not harmed anyone else. I wonder if these same people will refuse to let granny use a little weed so she can remember who she is or who they are before she dies.

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